That was no typo either, when I say the temple is “in” the road I mean just that ! Here Bhubaneswar has got quite creative in the ways it can encroach upon some of its ancient monuments, why just stick to residential buildings when you can turn the building itself into a traffic island ?
Painted a bright orange-red, probably an attempt to prevent it being hit by passing vehicles, it has become known as “Traffic Mahadeva” by the locals and probably serves as a major landmark.
The temple appears to be quite early, potentially early 8th century A.D. and what is visible above ground is only part of the temple. The remainder is below the current road level, with a flight of steps leading down to the entrance. It was quite busy with devotees visiting when I walked past so I didn’t venture inside myself.
Both this temple and the early temple you can see in the nearby Bhabani Shankar Temple Complex clearly show that there is a widespread horizon some 2-3m below the current land surface that takes us back some 1,200 years. One would imagine there are many unknown structures that are now sealed by the network of roads and densely packed properties in the heart of the old city.
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